WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal – Which Open Source CMS is the Best?

WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal – Which Open Source CMS is the Best?

Most of the websites I work on nowadays are built on content management systems (CMS) so the clients themselves can upload monthly calendars or change photos without having to contact and pay us to do it for them. And since most of our clients are local businesses with limited budgets, they don’t want to splurge on enterprise level content management systems so 95% of the time we’ll use an Open Source CMS since it is free (I know, I know that most have some kind of limitations but otherwise they don’t cost any money to use so that’s why I said they’re free.) Here are the top three open source content management systems that we have used.

1. WordPress – My personal favorite and I always opt for it if I’m given a say in the decision. I mean, hey, this blog is on WordPress along with my company’s site and scores of our clients’ sites. Yes, I know it’s natively a blogging platform but it’s come a long way the past few years so that we are able to customize it into a fully functional CMS. It’s easy to install and easy to use, especially for clients who are not very computer savvy. It’s fast (with the correct caching plugins) and lightweight compared to the behemoths of Joomla and Drupal. And perhaps the best thing about it is that it has a huge community of volunteers who have created very powerful plugins and most of the time you can use them for free.

WordPress Pros – Everything

WordPress Cons – I would normally say “nothing” but I guess there is one tiny downside of WordPress. If using the default settings, most WordPress installations will crash if they experience a surge in traffic. However, most websites will never get these kinds of huge surges in traffic so it’s normally not a problem and if there is the possibility that your site could get a surge in traffic, there are tons of freely available instructions for how to configure WordPress to handle an increase in traffic along with tons of free plug-ins.

Joomla – I’ve used Joomla on a handful of occasions, most of the time because a new client is already using Joomla as their CMS. Why anyone would ever choose Joomla vs. WordPress is beyond me, especially nowadays. Joomla is such a pain-in-the-neck to use, even as an experienced computer user. The entire user interface and admin panel architecture is just a clusterfuck of “modules”, “components”, “extensions”, “sections”, “articles”, “pages” and so on. It’s certainly not intuitive to use AT ALL. And of course they have ridiculous account access levels. You would think “Administrator” would be given access to everything within the CMS but after an hour of trying to figure out how the hell to change a meta tag on one page, you find out that you need to have “Super Administrator” access to make such a minor change. Of course, the Administrator still gives you enough access to fuck up and delete the entire site but you need God-mode Super Administrator privileges to tweak some keywords.

Joomla Pros – Nothing that I’ve found thus far

Joomla Cons – You name it – ugly, hard to use admin interface, non-intuitive, way too many pieces scattered everywhere, stupid account access levels

Drupal - A couple of years ago we used Drupal for a rather large local company for a big web design project. Drupal is a lot like Joomla in that it’s bloated software, not intuitive to use and even harder to customize. I would rank it above Joomla though because it is a lot more robust for large, complicated sites but it’s still a headache to work with.

Drupal Pros – Only thing is that it’s better than Joomla

Drupal Cons – Everything else

So the moral of the story is WordPress is by far the best Open Source Content Management System / Blogging software available so you should use it now!